Tonight (September 22nd) is another installment of Snapback LBC at The Federal Underground in Downtown Long Beach. This week’s special guest is Brandi Garcia plus residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj Remark, & Dj Orion + hosted by Trek Life. If you love classic Hip Hop & R&B, this is a perfect way to kick off your weekend!
On this 8th year anniversary (September 19, 2017) of our dearly departed Anthony “Roc Raida” Williams, Dj Rob Swift & John Carluccio are happy to introduce #Roc4Raida (http://roc4raida.vhx.tv/), the official website for downloading & streaming rare DJ Roc Raida video titles. 100% of the proceeds go to Raida’s family.
Join us Monday October 9th from 5-8pm at the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound for an up close look inside the world of DJ’ing. Take a tour of our facility and learn how to DJ on state of the art equipment from the Beat Junkies! Light appetizers and cocktails will be served, be sure and reserve your space!
Come celebrate the launch of Glendale Tech Week 2017 with LA’s very own Beat Junkies!
This is a private event and BJIOS will be closed.
RSVP is required as space is limited, click on the RSVP link to join!
Huge thank you to the future legend DJ K-Swizz (& his father Dj Reminise) for being our special guest and an inspiring our advanced DJing for kids class!
Photos by: Maricel Sison
Tonight (September 14th) is another installment of Snapback North Hollywood at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. This week’s guest is Brandi Garcia + residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj B-Stang, & Dj Ever-ED-E; hosted by Paris Paul. If you love classic Hip Hop & R&B, this is a perfect way to kick off your weekend!
It is an honor to have the legendary LA Hip Hop Radio personality, Mike Nardone return to the airwaves on Beat Junkie Radio. He returns to his roots by debuting his new show called “Essentials” on Beat Junkie Radio. If you’re not familiar with Mike Nardone, he was the first person to start up a college Hip Hop radio show in 1987 at KXLU (Loyola Marymount) in Los Angeles called “We Came From Beyond” as well as having a show on the defunct 92.3 The Beat called “Da Joint” with King Emz. Mike is the West Coast counterpart of the legendary NY Radio Duo, Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Garcia.
Essentials with Mike Nardone will NOW be airing every 2nd Saturdays of each month from 4-6pm on Beat Junkie Radio, exclusively on Dash. You can listen to Mike’s show by either downloading the FREE Dash Radio App from ITunes or Google Play or listen on the web: www.dashradio.com.
This Saturday (September 9th), we are proud to present the Grand Opening of our BJIOS Tech Shop, powered by Open Format LA & Jesse Dean Designs. These 2 entities are one of the leading companies that are helping building the ‘Portable Turntablist’ scene. Now we have them at the Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound to help out all your portable turntable needs, like custom made modifications, repairs, & merchandise. It’s going to be a big event with some giveaways as well as food trucks by White Rabbit, Dream Donut Truck, A1 Scale Fish & Meat Tacos, & many more. Thank you to the event sponsors: Serato, 12 Inch Skinz, Innofader, Battle Ave, Odyessy, Cut And Paste Records, Jason Markkk, & many more. The event is from 1-8pm and it’s FREE!! ALL DJS/TURNTABLISTS/PORTABLE TURNTABLISTS WELCOME!
RSVP REQUIRED: bit.ly/TECHSHOP
This is a past recording of “Adventures In Stereo” radio show few months ago. The Funky President J.Rocc brings in the legendary Damien Marley. J.Rocc’s radio show is now every Friday from 8-10pm on 90.7FM KPFK in Los Angeles or listen on the internet: www.kpfk.org.
Join LA’s favorite Monday night weekly dance party, MOM LA (Motown On Mondays), to celebrate your Labor Day in style, ‘Upstairs’ on the rooftop of Ace DTLA! Soak in the sunshine & lovely view of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline with the MOM LA Players, plus special guests, serving up feel good music to feed your soul and keep you movin’ and groovin all day long.
For the thirsty & hungry party goers, the rooftop bar will have a fine selection of craft cocktails, draft beers, and gourmet bites for offer. All sun worshipers & water lovers are invited to enjoy the rooftop pool area. Grab your dancing shoes, tell a friend, and get ready for a funky good time!
featuring special guests
DJ RHETTMATIC (Beat Junkies / Cypress Junkies)
MUSIC MAN MILES (Funky Sole / Breakestra / The Root Down)
SEANO (Nu-Tropic / Church)
all vinyl poolside vibes w/ special guests
DJ DEBO (Funk Freaks)
SOUL MARCOSA (The Wyldewood Green)
ERVIN ARANA (The Root Down / Soul Simple)
along with The MOM LA Players
Spinning Motown, Soul, Funk, Disco, House, & World sounds. Originals, remixes, re-edits, and more!
“Upstairs” at Ace Hotel
933 S. Broadway St.
Downtown LA, CA 90015
2PM – 10PM
All Ages until 8pm / 21+ after 8pm
Free all day and night
Valet Parking: $7 for the first 3 hours (with validation)
SEE THIS EVENT ON FACEBOOK AT:
Saturday (September 9th) is the Grand Opening of the BJIOS Tech Shop by Open Format LA & Jesse Dean Designs. We officially open up for all you Portable Turntablists where you can get your portable turntables purchased, modified, & repaired at. In celebration of the grand opening, we will be having Open Turntables, Food Trucks, & many more.
This Sunday (September 3rd) during Labor Day Weekend, Rhettmatic will be spinning at The Goodness, all happening the Meadowlark’s Patio in Denver, CO. It’s a daytime event from 3-9pm with resident Dj Lowkey + special guests Dj Morsecode, Dj Equal, & Dj Mikey Fresh. It’s the last Goodness party of the Summer. If you are in the Denver area, this is the spot to be!
September 2nd & 3rd during the Labor Day Weekend, Dj Babu will be joining his group Dilated Peoples at the Dry Diggings Music Festival. Also on the bill is Dilated’s own Evidence, Anuhea, Spawnbreezie, & many more. If you want to get your camping on & watch musical acts, this is the place to be.
For tickets: https://drydiggingsfestival.com/buy-tickets
This Labor Day Weekend, our DJ school, the Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound will be CLOSED on Saturday, September 2nd & Monday, September 4th, but will be back in effect on Tuesday, September 5th! Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend everyone!!
This is a past recording of “Adventures In Stereo” radio show few months ago. The Funky President J.Rocc brings in the legendary Dj Quik. J.Rocc’s radio show is now every Friday from 8-10pm on 90.7FM KPFK in Los Angeles or listen on the internet: www.kpfk.org.
(Los Angeles, CA): September 1st & 2nd,Delicious Vinyl presents Dilla’s Donuts L.A. Pop Up Shop. Join us at Delicious Pizza Cafe (6601 Sunset Blvd.) for donuts, music and more.
Dilla’s Delights, the Detroit based doughnut shop launched by Herman Hayes, uncle of the late, great legendary hip-hop producer J Dilla, will be providing an assortment of organic and aptly named donuts for the first time in Los Angeles for your snacking pleasure; McNasty Macaroon, Blackboottom Beatstreet Blueberry, D-Lime Glaze, Rasul Wasi aka the Titus Conant Garden Glaze, Fantastic Fritters, Cakeboy Chocolate & more!
Along with the donuts, exclusive J Dilla merchandise and vinyl releases will be on sale. Delicious Vinyl recording artist Frank Nitt (Frank-N-Dank, Yancey Boys) will be hosting live DJs and MCs all weekend, including DJ Rhettmatic on Sept. 1 at 8pm. Soul Circle Radio will be webcasting live on Sept. 2 from12pm-2pm.
Friday (September 1st), the Funky President J.Rocc will be doing a special extended set at The Great Northern in San Francisco. He will be also joined by Bay Area staples, DJs Kingmost & Dj Umami. $10 Tix at Ticketfly. If you’re in the Bay Area, this is the spot to start off your Labor Day weekend!
The Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound is offering a special “Scratch Pack” for all you Scratch DJs! We’re offering classes for Intermediate Scratch Training & Advanced Scratch Training. These classes are for those that want to focus on maintaining & improving your scratching skills. Our rotating instructors are D-Styles, Babu, & Melo-D, 3 of the best Scratchers in the world!
If you’re interested in getting your skills up in Scratching, you can sign up/ask for information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASSESSMENT IS REQUIRED FOR INTERMEDIATE!
Tonight (August 29th), our very own Dj Melo-D will be heading our Intermediate Scratch Training class at the Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound from 6-7pm. For all you Scratch DJ’s that want to improve on your techniques, this is the class you want to take & learn from one of the best. Limited spaces available & DJ assessment scheduled is required to take classes. To sign up & more info: email@example.com
Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound
5130 San Fernando Road
Glendale, CA, 91204
On this day, August 28th 2009, we lost the incredible DJ AM. In rememberance of our brother and all of his contributions to the art form and the DJ community, here is a tribute from our very own DJ Melo-D in honor of one of the greatest to ever do it on the 2 turntables. Rest In Peace Adam Michael Goldstein aka DJ AM.
Recorded at the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound in Glendale, Ca. #DJAM #Turntablism #BeatJunkies #BJIOS #DJ #Serato #PioneerDJ #Mixars #QSCAudio #FluidAudio #Shure
It is an honor to have the legendary LA Hip Hop Radio personality, Mike Nardone return to the airwaves on Beat Junkie Radio. He returns to his roots by debuting his new show called “Essentials” on Beat Junkie Radio. If you’re not familiar with Mike Nardone, he was the first person to start up a college Hip Hop radio show in 1987 at KXLU (Loyola Marymount) in Los Angeles called “We Came From Beyond” as well as having a show on the defunct 92.3 The Beat called “Da Joint” with King Emz. Mike is the West Coast counterpart of the legendary NY Radio Duo, Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Garcia. This particular episode, Mike is playing R&B soul from 1984-1986.
Essentials with Mike Nardone will be airing every 2nd Saturdays of each month from 4:30-6:30pm on Beat Junkie Radio, exclusively on Dash. You can listen to Mike’s show by either downloading the FREE Dash Radio App from ITunes or Google Play or listen on the web: www.dashradio.com.
▶ Soulection ~ The Sound of Tomorrow
▶ facebook.com/soulection | twitter.com/soulection
➜ Show #312 Track List: bit.ly/Show312TrackList
~ Watch The Story of Soulection Radio: youtu.be/UjTbCD3coBk
▶ Discover: @world-famous-beat-junkies @rhettmatic @mrchoc @joekay
J.Rocc, Mr. Choc, & Rhettmatic of the Beat Junkies visit Soulection Radio & catch up with Joe Kay as they discuss the opening of the Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound as well as getting down on the decks. >>> www.beatjunkiesound.com
** Soulection Radio Shows on Beats 1 are archived here 6 days after they air live on Saturday from 7pm-9pm Pacific**
Dj Rhettmatic of the World Famous Beat Junkies has been DJing for well over 20 years. A Dj champion, member of The Visionaries, Crown Royale, the Cypress Junkies and the Dirty Disco Squares, Rhett has been producing for just about the same period of time, creating backdrops for artists from Aloe Blacc to Ras Kass on well over 50 releases.
And now it comes time for the OG staple of the West Coast to step out with his own full-length instrumental project. May 19th, 2017 you will find out, if you didn’t already know, that Rhett Got Beats. At 18 tracks beatin’ down the block, with a bonus feature from Hieroglyphics’ Opio and Pep Love, this will fit nicely in your Street Corner Music collection.
In this video footage, Rhettmatic is in his home studio, which he calls it the “Sound-O-Matic Lab”, playing beats (old & new) from all the various machines that he uses to produce with: the classic E-MU SP1200 & the Akai MPC2000 Drum Machine Samplers as well as his current production tool, Propellerhead’s Reason Software. You can actually hear the progression of his production throughout the years with each music equipment, even with some beats that he forgot that he made.
“Rhett Got Beats” presented by Houseshoes on Street Corner Music available NOW!
Our very own Dj Babu & his son Nikobeats were featured on the NBC LA Channel 4‘s “Life Connected” series in honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month. They were interviewed during the official Grand Opening of the Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound in Glendale this past April. Thank you to Hetty Chang for the interview!
The collaboration of T-Dot’s Finest repping for One of Hip Hop Duos of All Time, Gangstarr!
Dj Starting From Scratch takes you on the ultimate musical journey showcasing the greatest songs/features of Guru & Dj Premier & our very own Record Pool Ambassador, the legendary Dj Grouch gives you the ultimate retrspect by cutting up some of Gangstarr’s greatest Breaks/Breakbeats. All this combined gives you THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST TRIBUTE TO THE GANGSTARR. that you’ll ever get your hands/ears on!!! You know it’s also legit when Preemo himself drops an official drop for the mix. Rest In Peace Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal aka The Guru!
Please join us as we commemorate our 25th anniversary & celebrate the opening of our very own DJ School & Training Facility the Beat Junkie Institute Of Sound!
Come thru for a tour and learn more about our school and our upcoming semester starting in May!
While your at it, enjoy a day of DJ sets, mini workshops, open turntable sessions, portable turntable sessions, record vendors, raffles & giveaways, as well as food & drink provided by Locol and White Rabbit Truck.
Admission is free + Kid Friendly
DATE AND TIME
Sat, April 15, 2017
1:00 PM – 7:00 PM PDT
5130 San Fernando Road
Glendale, CA 91204
“Watch The Sound” is back! In this episode the one & only DJ Prolifix stops by BJIOS and shows you why he’s the 2016 USA IDA Scratch Champion. Check him out at @djprolifix
For all the latest 7″ scratch vinyl and portable turntable mods. Hit up https://openformat.la/
Peep our digital record pool and all things Beat Junkies at www.beatjunkies.com
Beat Junkie Institute of Sound coming in Spring 2017 for more info go to www.beatjunkiesound.com.
The homie DJ Manwell recently was apart of a dope collaboration with producer extraordinares 14KT & Stro.
Late last year, Serato reached out to 3 individuals to help film a quick video, showcasing a live use of LINK (the new wireless midi protocol connection created by Ableton) which is now available in Serato DJ.
See more at: Serato
The collaboration of T-Dot’s Finest repping for the Greatest Of All Time, The Notorious B.I.G.
Dj Starting From Scratch takes you on the ultimate musical journey showcasing the greatest songs/features of Biggie & our very own Record Pool Ambassador, the legendary Dj Grouch gives you the ultimate retrspect by cutting up some of Biggie’s greatest Breaks/Breakbeats. All this combined gives you THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST TRIBUTE TO THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. that you’ll ever get your hands/ears on!!! This is also our final send off to the G.O.A.T.! Kick back, relax, & enjoy this Final Tribute to The Notorious B.I.G.
Today (March 9th) marks the 20th Anniversary passing of Brooklyn’s own The Notorious B.I.G.
Many people will be doing tribute mixes & remixes for one of the greatest rappers of all time. We are lucky to have our good friend, the mixtape king & album producer, Dj J.Period send us some of his special remixes for our record pool.
Make sure to go to www.beatjunkies.com & sign up for our record pool to get these exclusive J.Period remixes as well as edits from Dj Cyberkid, & of course The Beat Junkies.
1. Another/Dreamin [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
2. Benjamins/Things You Do [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
3. Big Poppa / Xxplosive [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
4. Carmina Hates Victory [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
5. Flava in Ya Ear/PSA [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
6. Goin Back to Cali (3 Strikes) [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
7. Hypnotize/Coldcut [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
8. Spread Love (Juicy) [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
9. In the Limelight (Juicy) [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
10. Long Kiss Menace [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
11. N***az Bleed/Compton’s Most [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
12. In The System feat. Jay Electronica [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Exclusive)
13. Three More Chances [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
14. One More Chance in the Club [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Clean)
15. Queen B Inna Dancehall [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
16. Sky’s The Limit [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
17. You Be Thinkin (8 Bar Intro) [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
18. Youngs Compton Gs [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty)
19. Put Your Notorious Hands [J.PERIOD MARCH 9 REMIX] (Dirty
Our big brother The Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff recently collaborated with some of your favorite artist and producers to create an album at his house in 7 days!
When Jazzy Jeff hit’s your line, you make sure to answer the call. This was not your ordinary studio session where the artist has a few months to create and record and release. In the intro video, you hear Jazzy Jeff explaining that they are going to write, produce, record, mix and release a couple days after the completion of the project. R&B artist Glenn Lewis is the albums lead vocalist and will add his flavor to each track!
Jazzy Jeff said that some of the music that is out these days doesn’t give you goosebumps when you hear the track, so the idea of this project is to chase those goosebumps.
Chasing Goosebumps is available now and ready for you to listen and feel those goosebumps.
What’s Good family, “Watch The Sound” is back! In this episode we feature the 4 X IDA World Champion, DJ IQ of the Handroids & Scratch Function LA. Check him out @djiqhandroidz.
Peep our digital record pool and all things Beat Junkies at www.beatjunkies.com
Beat Junkie Institute of Sound coming in Spring 2017 for more info go to www.beatjunkiesound.com
In honor of the 17th Year Anniversary of the legendary Big Pun‘s passing, Dj/Remix Editor Dj Cyberkid did a special 2017 tribute of the late great MC. A lot of the songs in the mix are Cyberkid’s own special edits & can be found on our Beat Junkies Record Pool. Sign up & get them at www.beatjunkies.com
Dj Nu-Mark is back with his dope Zodiac Tracks Mix, and for this star sign he drops an extra lengthy one for all the amazing artist that are Aquarius!
In the words of Dj Nu-Mark “They put 100% feel into their work and you can hear it in their music.”
Download and listen to the Aquarius mix below on Dj Nu-Mark’s Soundcloud.
Watch as Dj Nu-Mark live needle drop technique on this mix as well! To view the video of this mix on Dj Nu-Mark’s site follow this link!
5 Artists You Need To Know
2. Kevin Abstract
3. Yung Simmie
4. Kate Tempest
448 S. Main Street Los Angeles, CA
8pm | Get Tickets Here | 18+
$10 Advance | $15 at Door
A short Live performance by:
“Watch The Sound” is back! This time, straight outta Texas we have the one & only DJ Dopez! Make sure to check him out @dopez1200
Filmed & edited by @swiftstyle
Co-produced by @underkut www.openformat.la
Peep our digital record pool and all things Beat Junkies at www.beatjunkies.com
Beat Junkie Institute of Sound coming in Spring 2017 for more info go to www.beatjunkiesound.com
Last summer the Beat Junkies were honored with an invitation to DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2nd annual Playlist Retreat – a private invitational hosted by the Magnificent himself at his home in Deleware. Man. As you can imagine it was a beyond amazing week of collaboration and inspiration, all in the company of wonderful, talented people. One of the many highlights at Jeff’s retreat were the exclusive first looks at the newest DJ hardware from the music industry’s leading companies, which is where Roland officially introduced the new DJ 808 controller.
I’ve been DJ’ing since 1988 and have always played on turntables throughout my enitre career. That being said, I have for years been reluctant to step outside of my comfort zone where digital technology is concerned. I’ve never played a set on CDJs nor been the least bit interested in making an attempt to perform on anything other than turntables, if for no better reason than sticking to what I know. However, thanks to the good folks at Roland, the Beat Junkies were gifted the new DJ 808 controller and were asked to choreograph a performance showcase on their behalf. As an artist, the last position you ever want to be in is unprepared for a live performance, so it was imperative that I learn the DJ 808 and had a thorough understanding of at least the very basic functions, for starters… Essentially this meant I would need to reprogram myself as a DJ in a few ways, probably the most significant of which was to acquire a feel for 2 jog wheels that do not move (as opposed to a motorized turntable). As with any new instrument, the DJ 808 can be intimidating at first glance – 4 channels, multiple effects, faders and buttons everywhere, a drum machine sequencer that syncs with your tracks.. It’s certainly a lot to make sense of all at once. However, after dedicating a few days of practice I was able to get comfortable with the general functions and overall feel of the unit, and within less than a week I was able to exercise all of my turntable techniques on the DJ 808 and felt confident I could compose a “Beat Junkie Style” set that would include both creative mixing and scratching.
I have since had a few opportunities to showcase the Roland DJ 808 at various events, and other than “how do you like it?”, the question I get asked the most is about digital latency. To be completely transparent, there is a very slight adjustment that we as DJs need to make where hand control is concerned. Apart from that, the DJ 808 responds very well and is extremely accurate in translating DJ techniques. In fact, to all DJs worldwide, I can say with 100% certainty that the new DJ-808 is without a doubt worth consideration for everyone. Roland has created something special and is truly an organization that respects and appreciates the art of DJ’ing. Special thanks once again to DJ Descry and the entire team at Roland for continually creating new ways for us to play and make music. Let’s all keep an open mind where technology is concerned and keep pushing the art.
by DJ Melo-D
Be on the lookout for the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound – a specialized DJ school and training facility located in Los Angeles brought to you by the Beat Junkie Crew.. Grand Opening Spring 2017!
For more info: www.beatjunkiesound.com
Once again we are back with another installment of “Watch The Sound”. This time we are blessed with some FUNKY cuts by DJ, producer & Musician, the homie, DJ Day. Make sure to check him out at www.djday.net | Filmed by @underkut | www.openformat.la
Peep our digital record pool and all things Beat Junkies at www.beatjunkies.com
Beat Junkie Institute of Sound coming in Spring 2017 for more info go to www.beatjunkiesound.com
When nightlife is a way of life you tend to look at everything in regards to it in a much different light and have a very broad perspective to take into account when you go out. In my years of being on the front lines and the backside, it’s really interesting to break it all down and build it back up. The good parts are amazing, like providing platforms for artists to express themselves creatively through various mediums and occasionally blow up based on right place right time moments. There’s also the whole being able to pay your rent, car, phone and other bills based on your efforts and productions, that’s always nice. Then you’ve got creating memories and friendships for yourself and others, thus building a great network. Alternatively, though, there’s a lot of danger being in large groups, dilapidated buildings, self-policed venues, being surrounded by drugs, alcohol at all times and people under the influence of them. Not to mention promiscuous people who don’t take care of themselves. There’s a lot of traps and dark sides to all of it, and while I’ve got a ton of horror stories, my focus today will be on the positive elements event production and it may inspire some of you to get into coordinating some stuff together with friends and/or peers alike.
So we all know events come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and can vary from warehouse, nightclub, dive bar, speakeasy, private loft, art gallery and beyond. Some spaces have character like a unique entrance, well-thought out decor and ambiance, some naturally have a good energy and atmosphere, others are just blank canvases. You can create something consistent as a residency and nurture that event for weeks and months and years until it’s a staple in the city you’re in such as Low End Theory, Bananas, Rhonda, Do Over, HAM, We Own The Night, The Lift, etc. or you can just do a series of one off events that are more of a concentrated effort with a specific tone or theme. A lot of festivals start as solid one off events. Whether it’s an open mic night, to a cheese+wine+chocolate eat-drink & draw event, a rave style party, foodie function or a producer or talent showcase. There’s really no limits on what you can and can’t do unless your venue or city has restrictions. That kind of free thinking is really attractive to me and one of the reasons I got into producing events. It’s an interesting rabbit hole and roller coaster that exhilarating doesn’t even begin to describe. What keeps it fresh for me is the fact that I never stop learning, and I’m always surprised when something new happens to remind me that. Since my first parties til now I’ve learned incredible time management skills and the necessity of punctuality. I’m reminded to be flexible and to also just let shit go from time to time. I’ve managed to draft agreements, negotiate terms, build strong communication skills, understanding how to get people in the door and what you can do to make them want to stay as long as possible. Art direction for every flyer and poster I’ve designed, learning the city to know it inside out for wheat pasting, staple gunning and flyering places. The list just keeps going and going and I’m extremely grateful to now posses the knowledge and experience I have through all the failure and success. Trust me, you only lose your rent money a few times before you make sure you absolutely never take an L again.
I think the biggest and one of the most important things you have to gain from events is appreciation of community. An event is generally focused around one specific thing you all have in common. That common bond, between hundreds of people being brought together – creates something special. Once you have that special community, you want to nurture it to make sure it can have growth, longevity and reach it’s potential. Much like a plant without water and sun. This process comes from you attending events, volunteering to help them, spreading the word / awareness. Being observant and mindful of things that could pose problems or cause trouble. I feel that once you’ve been accepted and start being recognized in your community, you’ve got even more influence, impact and responsibility to maintain it. That is unless, you don’t care of course. I’ve met so many amazing and beautiful people by having a footprint in a handful of these groups, and I have to say it’s extremely inspiring and uplifting to witness their growth over time.
These tight-knit communities all over the world are really something not to be ignored and I’ll always admire the effort in pulling all the pieces together to complete the puzzle. We need a strong infrastructure of venues (restaurants, bars, lounges, clubs, and even warehouses, galleries and lofts) to create a foundation for creative expression to thrive and exist. So yeah, I mean I guess at this point we’re rambling and the overall goal is to remind you to support DIY parties, and throw events that contribute to your city and community of choice. There’s so many worlds to explore from Comedy, Art, Music, Fashion, Biking, Skating, Dance and it’s many genres, Foodie, Mixology, Competitive, Sports, and beyond. Find your niche and dive in.
It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To
3 Short Stories Of Nightlife Nightmares (Hollywood Edition)
1. The Real Slim Shady : So a few years ago, my girlfriend at the time and I decided we wanted to throw an event in WeHo for our LGBT friends in a venue that was pretty much the perfect fit and vibe for what we were looking for in the party we wanted to produce. At this time pretty much all of the events we were attached to or producing were because of our networks, following and mailing list. You wouldn’t really catch us at something that was wack and didn’t have a diverse crowd of people dancing and having a good time. I can’t quite remember how we met with this guy who was advertising the space but we decided to roll the dice and check it out. Most new venues in LA don’t last long, I’d say a 3-5 year shelf life if they’re lucky, Hollywood/WeHo being even more difficult to maintain. So we go and meet up with this guy, he seems legit. Introduces us to the security, bar manager, bartenders, and proceeds to give us a complete walkthrough of every nook and cranny of the place. We were asking the right questions to assess the situation while given the tour and he seemed to answer everything with the typical responses and expectations. Now at this time, we already had 1 or 2 other events going on in the following month or so, the majority of our funds were in the hands of others for deposits, almost like escrow on a house. So we were pretty tapped out, but we still wanted to do this party as the space was ideal and fit the criteria for our needs. Being that we were pretty much out of our own funds, it was a matter of getting sponsors who have been in bed with us for awhile with other functions, or asking one of our investors. We figured it was too short notice to hit up our typical partners and sponsors, so we got the money from 2 investors. She got 1 half of the bread together, while I obtained the other in lieu of them making a 10-15% on their investments. Having the money ready to go for the deposit on the space, we asked for a contract. The fact that we received the investment from 2 friends put more pressure and emphasis on us having a successful event. Saying as all of our other parties were very lucrative, we didn’t have any doubts about this one being anything but equal if not greater, and honestly we were really fucking excited to do something different. We get the contract for the space, negotiate the terms, kick it back and forth a bit until everything is correct and in order for us to feel comfortable with doing business with the space. After signing the contract, we send off the check as you typically would. At this point we’re ready to go, and start putting together the pieces of making the flyer, booking talent, setting up our marketing and promotional efforts, and generally getting all of our ducks in a row. About 3 weeks out from the event, we need some additional amendments made and we spend about 2 days of not being able to get a hold of the guy. His social media is active, so I hit him up online to no response, a day after messaging him that we couldn’t get a hold of him. All of his social media accounts magically vanish, not responding to emails, phone is disconnected. Oh and keep in mind, we already gave him the $$$ to lock in the date. So at this point we start to sweat a little bit for obvious reasons, let’s not forget the fact that the $ came from (2) people who trusted us greatly adding more fuel to the fire of this whole scenario. I call the venue, apparently in the timeframe of our contract and now, the ownership of the club has changed hands, there’s completely new operators, and nobody seems to know the guy who wrote up a contract and put names of former owners ( who hadn’t been attached to the venue in months ). We look at their calendar, the night that we were looking at is booked with some other event. At this point, I kinda fall into private investigator mode. I type in his name to google, see some old flyers in google images that have his logo on them. I start to look up the other companies/logos I see on the flyers beside his and begin reaching out to all of these random strangers with this whole story. The calls and messages generally started like ” Hello, I know this is going to sound really weird, but do you happen to know of anyone by the name of xxxxxxxx? with a promotional company called xyz?” the first three people I contacted literally had responses like “Wow, that guy again? yeah I know of him, he owes my brother xyz amount of money, if you see him to fuck off ” another answer was like ” Yeah, I’ve got a restraining order against him, he owes my sister a ton of money ” the calls just kept getting more and more hostile as I dug deeper and deeper. At this point, the event is essentially paused til we get to the bottom of the situation, but more importantly was us retrieving this money, otherwise we’d be on the hook for it. I keep going through these old event flyers and looking at the talent, the logos, the hosts, the clubs, and keep contacting more and more people to hear more of the same stories of essentially this guy ripping off about a dozen people, not paying back a cent and getting away with it. Now, I didn’t grow up with money, I’ve worked hard my entire life for everything that I have and I’ve never been the type to just “charge it to the game” or “let someone off the hook” because “it’s Hollywood” or “I mean what do you expect with people in nightlife or promotion”. I have to admit, I was pretty intrigued to hear all of the different people and stories of how they all managed to get taken advantage of by the same guy, and how nobody really gave a damn about catching the guy. Meanwhile I was hot on the case and building a pretty hefty story, logging these conversations, saving everyone in my phone as (Scammed) – Which mindfully, they still are in my phone if you’d like to see next time you’re around 🙂 even some of these people I’ve since built friendships with! Anyways, back on track – so he still is off social media and hiding, we don’t really have to cancel the event with the venue because they don’t know who this guy is and there’s nothing on the calendar or contract anyways besides forged signatures and other phony information. After about a week his phone is back on, so my girl and I took it upon ourselves to call him every night between the hours of 10pm til 5am about 30x anyways because we were already up and it was no skin off our back. Eventually he said he’d meet up with us with the money after hearing countless voicemails and text. We literally filled his inbox to the point that it couldn’t take anymore messages. We agree to meet at The Falcon in Hollywood to get our money back. I end up waiting in the cold for this fool for almost 3 hours, eventually I see him show up in his pickup, drive by slowly, he sees me and bolts off. You could imagine how frustrating this is to be chasing your money like this. At this point, I start calling up the big homies infuriated explaining the situations, and seeing who’s interested in handling this shit in a not so polite manner. I look back at emails we exchanged, check the source and I’m able to find the IP address he was corresponding from. I plugged in that IP address and managed to find his place on Googlemaps! Low & behold, in the google street view screenshot, the same truck he rolled by The Falcon with and originally picked up the cash from and met us in was there, blocked in by 2 other vehicles in front of the garage on the driveway. At this point, we had already been more than patient. I did reverse phone lookups and more and managed to get a hold of his sister and mother. At this point, I sent over a cropped image of the google street view of his place, said we had already spoken to both his mother, sister and ex-girlfriend with the restraining order and he’ll either get us our money and some extra for the effort or we’ll be by his place to …take what we need to in order to make up for the wasted time, money and recover the balance. Surprise surprise, dude calls us back almost immediately and asks us to meet him in downtown Whittier at some sushi spot. I explain the severity of the issues at hand and state that if he’s not there this time and we don’t get our money returned in this attempt, we will be taking it into our own hands to solve the problem. Fast forward, we’re sitting at the sushi place eating, dude shows up in a brand new tux, gives us our money and then some… says maybe two words. neither of which were my bad or I’m sorry and then just disappears. Annnnnnnnd that’s all folks 🙂 so the bottom line, be very careful who you do business with, keep records, and cross-reference people. It never hurts to research the business and people you are intending on doing business with before actually doing business, that’s just being smart. plain and simple. Don’t Trust Anyone.
2. And For My Next Trick! – Ugh, so this was like 2011 or 12 I think? I launched a series called Westside Wednesdays at Dim Mak Studios in Hollywood with some kids I was helping with parties, we featured Warm Brew, Andre Nickatina, YG, Casey Veggies, and Pac Div alongside several other acts. Also had my homies from HamOnEverything on a bill or two – crazy to see how far we’ve all come. I’m only going to focus on one of those shows, because there was just all kinds of fuckery throughout this whole place. Let’s start at the beginning, so let’s imagine you just drove across town to catch YG who was a buzzing artist and blowing up right before your eyes. Now I can talk further about the bullshit I had to go through to even “make the show go on” … like calling my friend Nocando who had a connection to a guy named Brandon who was managing him at the time with Stampede, but we’re just gonna skip over that part and focus on the stupid club shit. Right, so imagine you drove across town to see this artist, you wait in line for 30-45mins while nobody is inside, you finally get to the front. They ask you for ID, then take it it from you, while simultaneously pushing you forward into the venue, so by the time you got upstairs and the bartender asks you for your ID – you realize that you somehow have managed to lose it between the doorman who asked for it prior, and the bar. Sounds like the start to a good night, right? So imagine getting back downstairs and the head / lead guard has your ID, and says they found it on the ground. Furthermore, they say you’re not allowed inside the venue (after paying) without an ID. Then they say if you want to get your ID back, you’ll have to pay them $40 and if you don’t have it, you’re going to have to leave because you cannot be inside the venue without a valid ID. Fun right? Well beyond that shady shit, so there was a moment where my homegirl Ashley who was working the door caught these guards running side deals all night, basically slip a guard anything from a 20 to a 100 under your ID in line, and he’ll have you step out, and enter through the alternative entry OR just walk you in past the door. Some people would pay in line, get the lineskip, then have to pay again at the door, but would be complaining at that point about having just paid someone (a guard) for entrance. This shit happened at least 5x in the night to the point that it was brought to my attention by Ashley who I then rounded up all the guards with and said stop fucking cutting side deals. We will take care of you guys at the end of the night, just please do your jobs right. Between holding the line in order to get impatient people buying into this garbage technique of a hustle. To the ID thing, to YG’s entourage of 40 bloods then all the people who went in behind them it was just a shit show from start to finish. His set was good, people who got in without the bullshit enjoyed themselves despite the discomfort of the room being packed with people who were there for more security/support than anything. The 30-50 people who got fucked with that night proceeded to write me and sound off. The owner said he’d talk to his crew the next day and take some action (yeah right) – long story short, nothing was done. Our series ended and we got the fuck out to never return. Again, just a moment of trust, and being on your p’s and q’s, this shit killed the customer experience and definitely ruined some peoples night, and it also cost us quite a bit of money at the door. Some people were leaving after seeing those in front of them just being whisked right in for an additional surcharge.
3. Cruisin For A Bruising – I feel like I’ll end this one on a high note as this story is kinda funny with some twists and turns. This happened on a Thursday night when LA has a residency called Respect, a dope gathering for people into Drum & Bass, Jungle and similar sounds. The regulars here are/were as consistency as Low End Theory’s crowd is for electronic instrumental production. Always a good time, community vibes featuring emcees, producers and dj’s alike. This event happened at The Dragonfly, a place I’ve blown the roof off of with a few events, and was happy to have a good relationship with. Bear their head guard was always there to greet people and his crew was solid and ethical. Anyways, so I was out doing my rounds, dropping on events that friends were producing and performing at, and was on santa monica blvd passing by and decided to drop in. I grab a drink at the bar, get on the dance floor a little, step outside for some air and to smoke some trees. This girl comes out of the hallway and walks up to me, asks for my name, introduces herself. She’s cute so I talk it up with her for a bit, meet her friend briefly who then disappears and leaves me to chat with this girl further. I ask if she wants to smoke, she says no, I go inside. At this point I felt like I had already been here too long, I normally don’t spend more than an hour or so in a spot unless it’s really jumping, I have friends with me or I just don’t have anymore stops for the night. So I end up going inside by the entry near the photobooth. She walks up and grabs me and begins to start kissing me. Now I’m not mad, again she was cute – I didn’t think she was drunk or on anything at the time so I was like, this is different, let’s see where this goes. back against the photobooth, we go inside of the booth and continue making out a bit. She starts taking off my belt, pants, etc, turns around and before you know it, we’re fucking in the photobooth. Irony here is this isn’t the first, or second time I’ve handled biz in a photobooth, but I had mixed feelings here because I literally just did an event a month or so prior and I genuinely respect the spaces that treat event coordinators/promoters and nightlife pros right. Plus I knew a handful of people there, and really just wasn’t completely sold. Too fast, too soon? Who knows. Anyways, a guard comes to the booth… he opens it up with me pants down. Of course it’s a guard I fucking know, and he’s like “awww it’s you bro? I don’t even know what to do at this point, do you wanna finish? want me to stand outside? I was like nah man, I’m good here it’s cool – I don’t wanna disrespect the spot. So I exchange info with the girl ( which I guess would’ve been smart to do beforehand ) – she says she’s gonna go outside and smoke, I say I’ve gotta bounce to Echo Park. She asks me to come back to her place, says she’s only in town for a few days from the bay. I say I live here, I’ll be around tomorrow if she wants to get together. I promptly go out front ready to leave and Bear calls me out saying “that was you? damn man, with xyz girl? yeah, she’s cute” so he convinces me that the girl is worth going after, verifies her ID wasn’t from LA, and was military. Said her friend was already in the car waiting for her…I tell him I’ve never in my life chased pussy and really just let things kinda take shape on their own. Somehow he convinces me to go with her. She comes out shortly after this convo and then asks me to follow her to her hotel in studio city. At this point, I figured you know, why not – I was already past the point of no return with her so I may as well just go further. I follow her up wilcox, she pulls into 7-11. I pull in behind her, grab some condoms, a gatorade and smartwater and ask if she wants anything. She already has her starburst and whatever the fuck else. I hop back into my car and lower the window, saying “so we’re good, I’ll meet you over there – it’s only about 13minutes away right” and she says yeah, closes the door. Friend is still asleep in the passenger seat. She moves her car into reverse and then slams into the front bumper of a BMW m6, smashing the front lights and grill. Then she immediately pulls into drive and jets out of the 7-11 parking lot and north into the freeway. The dude runs out of the store and chases her car on foot after cursing a bit then hops in his car and speeds out of the lot and up the freeway too. At this point her phones dead, I’m following him and I don’t see her car in front, but I’m assuming that he does with the way he’s driving. Eventually my GPS tells me to get off as the hotel is down the street, I take the exit, sit at the light and then just go to the hotel and wait… Her phones dead, my phones dying. So I wait in the parking garage of the hotel for 15minutes or so. At this point, I’m just like is it even worth it? This is such a crazy night, and now she’s committed a crime. I should just bounce. I express the story to my homie who was the guard by text and then head start heading to echo park keeping in mind that this is exactly why I don’t chase women haha. I get to the gas station before the freeway and think, maybe I should go back and just at the very least see if her and her friend are alright. I go back to the parking garage, the cars there – all fucked up, looking like she backed into the fist of the incredible hulk. I call her phone, dead. I ask the hotel manager/cashier person if he could tell me what room the two girls just went into, he said without a police escort he’s not permitted. I took that as a hint as I should definitely just leave and not come back. I go on with my night, drop by short stop, say hi to some friends, tell the story, shoot some pool, then head home. The next day she hits me up with paragraphs of apologies by text, tells me she’s got another day in town til she goes to Vegas. Adds me on social media, I see she’s got a kid… It was all too much for me. Haven’t seen or spoken to her since. Dragonfly is now closed, Respect DNB has moved. Haven’t seen Bear since (sadly), The End.
🙂 So I hope you enjoyed these stories, with over 7 years of events I’ve got some pretty funny, sad, interesting, cool and exciting memories to tell. Since these are all Hollywood, I’ll probably jump to DTLA next then maybe Westside or EchoPark/Silverlake/EagleRock… Even got some crazy SXSW and 6th street stuff from when I lived in Austin, and a few from when I lived in New York.
In the spirit of Christmas, our very good friend, Dj Dstrukt showcases a special DJ showcase using the limited edition Serato Christmas Sweater control vinyl, as he flips his own versions of classic Christmas songs. Enjoy! Ho Ho Ho….Happy Holidays!
Producer Extraordinaire Dj Exile of the mighty Dirty Science crew & his cohort, producer Sirplus, brings to you a special Christmas gift!
“In the Spirit of Christmas I decided to make this gift to you, 9 Original Christmas Beats From me and Co Host Sirplus. We Cooked up this beat and this mix in only 10 days. Also Enjoy a Free Stream of my new album with long time partner in Crime Aloe Blacc, but hes rapping & killing it.”
For the next installment of “A Moment With” we spoke with D-Styles. His involvement with the seminal music collectives Invisibl Skratch Piklz + The Beat Junkies progressed DJ culture in the 90s + 00s, and he continues to pave the way for Turntablist / Beat heads as a resident of the long-running “Low End Theory” event based in Los Angeles.
We the Beat Junkies are always looking for new ways to make music as well appreciating new techniques and this is something we think you should check out if you want expand on your repetoire. Ladies & Gentleman…..Beat Discovery!
“If you make beats, then you’ve probably sifted through hundreds of sounds, loading them individually, only to program the same pattern you’ve made a thousand times. It’s extremely tedious, and can take the fun out of making a beat. Beat Discovery is the first drum sequencer of it’s kind, and was designed to solve this problem. It makes programming sounds fun, creative, and super easy. It’s easy for beginners & made for and by professionals.
The idea was to merge the ease of analog drum machines together with the digital world of unlimited sounds. After the initial user interface was designed, they both partnered up to bring something new to the world of electronic music.”
Check out Ruckazoid & Teeko make 15 beats in 20 minutes!
Download BeatDiscovery Presents: The Findings Vol 1: http://bit.ly/thefindingsvol1
For more info on BeatDiscovery & download the progrom, go to https://www.beatdiscovery.com/
Our very own Rhettmatic did a special 45 set at the Soul Summit Dance Party in Chicago this past weekend. Before his gig, he recorded a couple of practice sets to help him prep up for the gig:
“This past Sat. (11/19/16), I had the pleasure of spinning a special 45 set at the Soul Summit Dance Party – the Double Door in Chicago. To tell you the truth, I was kinda nervous because of the high caliber of talent that spun at this event that I had to live up to: my Beat Junkie brother J.Rocc, Breakbeat Lou, Peanut Butter Wolf, Prince Paul, Ali Shaheed Muhaamad (ATCQ), Dj Maseo (De La Soul), Adrian Younge, Rich Medina, Dj Spinna; you get the picture. So the whole week before my gig, I literally went thru all my 45 vinyl records to prepare for my set, & I tell ya, I was kinda overwhelmed….hahah!
Anyways, after changing my set a couple of times & get some practice in, I recorded a couple of practice runs with all the skips, spinbacks, & record burns included. This is the best recorded take out of all of them. I ended up not playing exactly what I did at Soul Summit but this mix is gives you an idea what I tried to do. Thank you to Dave Mata, Scott Williams, & the rest of the crew. Hope you like it!”
Our good friend Dj Nu-Mark does a monthly video showcase in honor of the characters of Horoscope.
This episode of Zodiac tracks pays homage to: Pharoahe Monch, Scarface, Lou Donaldson, Diddy, Prodigy, Mobb Deep, Alchemist, Buckshot, Madlib, Oh No, EVE, Warren G, Monica, JRocc of The Beat Junkies, Bootie Brown of The Pharcyde, Phife Dawg and Minnie Riperton. The FB video will be up for a limited time so please share with the ones that count!
Click on the link to watch video: https://www.facebook.com/djnumark/videos/10154770967534390/
Members from the legendary Beat Junkie Crew (DJ Babu, DJ Rhetmattic and Mr. Choc.) talk with DJ Trexxx aka Yung Dean about the future of turntablism and how the internet generation has affected DJ’s. Dash Radio Exclusive. You can listen to the Beat Junkies’ station, “Beat Junkie Radio” on the Dash Radio app. www.dashradio.com
RC: Ok Ladies and gents, this is DJ rchecka, and on behalf of the Beat Junkies and myself, I’m honored to be talking with the Musical Enforcer, the legendary DJ Ready Red of the Geto Boys. What’s up Ready Red!
RR: What’s going on DJ rchecka? What’s happening my long time brother and Friend?!
RC: Sall good man, I’m very happy to be speaking with you. I’ve been doing my homework, going through the archives and I dug up some good questions to drop on you! So I hope you’re ready to go back to that time.
RR: Hey, Ready Red, comin at ya!
RC: Haha, alright so we gotta start right at the beginning of course… You were with the Geto Boys from I believe 87 to 1991, does that sound about right?
RR: About 1992 some say 93, I got released in 93 so let’s go with that.
RC: Ok, so the story goes that back in 87, you were in Jersey and got a call from your sister to come down to Texas and help her out with some boyfriend problems, and that’s the phone call that basically got the ball rolling for you with the Geto Boys, can you elaborate on that?
RR: Yes, this would have been December 1986, she says “Hey, I need you to come somewhere with me.” I said “What’s going on?” “I need you to grab your stuff and come down here.” So I said OK.
I planned on being gone at least a month. So I got to Houston, and meet this guy she was still with. We was cool for the first couple months then he started tripping out so I had to put some things on. I had to whoop his ass. And I just met James Smith the owner of Rap-A-Lot Records that same night. Later on I asked him to loan me a couple of dollars to help me out, and that’s how I got down. I got a thousand dollars to get down with the Geto Boys since he helped me get my sister out of a bad situation.
RC: So then after that did you have a DJ Battle in Houston that really got things rolling for you?
RR: I had a DJ battle down at the world famous Rhinestone Wrangler on Murworth, right up the street from the Astrodome off of Main. So I went up there and I did my East Coast, Trenton, New Jersey style of DJing, which is pretty much our style of DJing, with a Philly Twist, and New Jersey Twist, being that I’m from Trenton, and there’s a world wind of culture there in Trenton between Philly and New York, so this was a whirlwind of techniques and ways that you can attack the art of turntablism.
RR: …So yes, I rocked them, and that’s when I met Jukebox and the late NC Trahan, and that’s how I got down.
RC: So that’s how it started. Just like that you were a part of the Beat Junkies, Err, whoops! That will be edited… I mean a part of the Geto Boys.
RR: (Laughs) I wouldn’t mind being a part of the Beat Junkies, the Beat Junkies are pretty cool! But yeah, that’s right when I came a part of the Geto Boys.
RC: Ok. Now you mentioned briefly NC Trahan, and like I said I did my homework and dug way back thru the archives, and back in the day, on oldschoolhiphop.com’s message board, you mentioned something that stuck with me.
“NC Trahan was big part of the GB early days before I came down to Houston he let us practice at his crib all day and nite never said a thing. In 1988 while shooting Raheem’s video for A&M Records, NC was killed at a gas station by a Punk Asss Bytch Mutha Fucker from what I hear it had been a knuckle up at the club and like a 1 hr later he was dead by a shotgun blast to the face!
RR: Yeah that was True.
RC: (Continues) “I was back home in NJ around the holidays I got a call that he been killed!. Vicious Lee of the Def 4 got arrested that night for trying to get to NC.”
Then you mentioned… “Somebody always got killed during the making of a GB album! RIP Big C.”
That last line is pretty stunning if you think about it. Can you build off that part?
RR: Well first person that I knew that was good people was Kenny Ray and he got shot and killed on the Making Trouble album, so we always used to wonder, if during the making of a Geto Boy’s album, “Who’s Next?” I knew him very briefly but for the year to 6 months I knew him, I knew he was folks man.
RC: I see. Well I’m looking at that “Grip It From That Other Level” cassette tape right now, and I see that Rest In Peace note you put on the cover of that. So that album must have been dropped right after that happened.
RR: Yeah. He was killed right before that.
RC: Yeah, ok. Well let’s change gears a little bit. You also briefly mentioned something about your early sampling of the movie Scarface, Were you the first person to sample that movie for a rap song?
RR: It’s been duly noted that I am the first person to touch that movie, Scarface, Al Pacino’s voice. So yeah, I am.
RC: You are? Ok, well that’s pretty damn cool. Well I was just listening to that tape and I notice how you peppered his voice in that album a few times.
RR: It filled in the gaps. When I started working with the Geto Boys they were already wrote half of “Making Trouble” and I was trying to come up with something that woke it up. When Johnny C came along, I came up with “Assassins” with Johnny, and “You Ain’t Nothing.”
Then I was playing around, and Bushwick Bill came over, and I was watching Scarface, and I just made a bass beat on a TR-808. And the part where Sosa is talking to Tony and he throws my man Omar my man out of the helicopter window… Right around that part, that’s when Bill comes along and sat on my start and stop pedal, which basically recorded “All I have in this world is my balls and my word” and I heard something.
I was like “Oh Shit!” so I rewound my VCR, I got ready, punched it, and got “All I have in this world…”
I said, “Bill, did you hear that?” “He goes. “No man, what are you talking about I didn’t hear anything.”
So I immediately went to work, sampled on the Studio 440 “All I have in this world, is my balls and my word” “and then I just started playing around with “All I have… All I have… All I have… in this world this world this world.” And that’s how I made Tony Montana, AKA Al Pacino start singing in rhythm to the 800 drum machine.
RC: Nice! So on that same album you got the song “Gangster Love”. Anyways there are 2 versions of that song, one sampling Steve Miller Band’s the Joker…
RR: Yeah one would be Johnny C and my version’s using Steve Miller, and when Rick Rubin wanted to do the song and remix it later, he chose Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” so Rubin’s version came later.
RC: Ok, I see. So was it just sample clearance issues with Steve Miller Band or artistic differences or what was it that made you guys remix it like that?
RR: Well some bullshit I heard, that Steve Miller was trying to make a comeback, that he enjoyed the song but he didn’t want to be attached to the shit, so we had to give him some 250,000 dollars, I don’t know, it was some bullshit that he got all our money, I never saw any of that money.
RC: Alright, let’s talk a little bit later on. Eventually you guys hooked up with Rick Rubin. Is it true that Rick Rubin respelled your name GETO?
RR: Yes, it was Ghetto, which is the common spelling, which is an old Jewish term, and he changed it more ghetto to the G-E-T-O. So you know, being Rick Rubin, a man down with Def Jam, and Russel Simmons, and all the hip hop royalty, so what you gonna do? I ain’t gonna argue with Rick.
Cuz after that, damn we hit it big, you know?
RC: Yeah, no kidding, that was a smart move. I think some of the younger cats I talk to sometimes don’t realize there was a different spelling of the Geto Boys at one point.
RR: Yeah, so you got the old rare first press of that tape with that spelling. That’s Ready Red with the sun shades on! That right there is the first press, and if you notice, that’s Jazzy Jay rolling dice in the background!
RC: Hey, I was happy to land that tape for sure. That one I have been looking that for a while! I guess that album never got dropped on vinyl did it?
RR: No. I only had about 4-5 special Rap-A-Lot party wax pieces of that. There’s a few radio versions and a some dirty versions that I could spin for the shows. So, if you see that Rap-A-Lot wax, with that on there, that’s Ready Red’s!
RC: Oh, ok so those are show vinyl versions?
RR: Yeah, just for my shows.
RC: Cool, I never even knew those existed.
RC: So let’s fast forward a bit, and talk about closer to the end of your years as one of the Geto Boys. You became more aware of the greedy nature of your label Rap-A-Lot, and their lack of fair pay.
RR: For that I have to start at the album “Making Trouble” which was good enough to get us on the Fat Boys “Wipe Out” Tour. We went out for days with Fat Boys, Salt N Pepa, Ice T,and we went thru about four or 5 cities, and we blew up. Eventually I found out that we sold 100,000 copies, but I was told we only sold 20,000, and that was the start, being an upstart label from the South.
So I was able to get an apartment, and an SP1200 that’s when I started making “Grip It”. Then the personnel change came right after we had a 12” out called “Be Down”.
Believe it or not, the owner and his helper went to LA for a meeting with some people and came back and said “Hey man, we’re gonna scrap this album that you’re working on, and we’re gonna become “Gangster Rappers” and we are gonna talk about some stuff, blow, this and that, blah blah blah, whoop, whoop, whoop…
And Johnny C says “Yo man, I’m not with this.”
So Box writes the first rhyme to “Mind of a Lunatic” “Paranoid, sitting in a deep sweat. Thinking…”
That joint right there, but then in the middle of us recording it with Willie D and then finally Scarface, and Bill, Jukebox says to me “Yo man, this shit is crazy! Man, I ain’t with this!” So he quit.
Then we became the Geto Boys with Willie D Scarface and Bushwick Bill and myself.
RR: So go down to Jay’s ranch in Praireview, and we put together the historic album called “Grip It On That Other Level” and that’s how we started touring, Detroit, Chicago, Down South, Memphis, we was going everywhere man. This album really put some light to what was going on in Houston, so I’m proud, of everything before that and after that.
But, then I was like, “Yo man, where’s the money at.” Cuz we was getting peanuts and crumbs but where’s the money? Cuz every time royalties come around we get nothing, so I started looking at the business end of this stuff, cuz I was like “You know what? I been here for many years. I’ve given this man everything he could ask for. I’ve given him some of my best work and yet I’m not being compensated.
So I went to them with this, and challenged them, and they wanted to pay me in installments, but I needed all my money which was owed, and that was 29,000 dollars.
RR: So anyways, Little Jay got mad, got pissed.
I hear, “Oh man, Little Jay is pissed” I say “well shit, I’m pissed too!”
And right around the time I just met my wife, future wife. Well yeah, I was getting disillusioned anyway when we started working on the “We Can’t Be Stopped” album.
So Scarface come over and we was digging thru my crates, and I been trying to work with a song from the Tough Guys soundtrack, and I only bought it cuz it was Tony Williams on the cover and it was Isaac Hayes.
So I was like, Ok, so we played around, we found the joint called the jam. So we started putting it together and during the time of that, and I was telling Face, “Yo, if you hear something, I can put it together.” So on that song we we did it. During the time of that I became very disillusioned, I thought , “Yo I won’t be getting anything out of this”
So I called all the Geto Boys up and told em what was going on, and later on that night, Jermain comes in there with the Get Down Boys, which is his thugs and shit, and shit got kinda crazy, and I left that night, and I haven’t looked back ever since.
And I seen 20-30 years later, that nobody got nothing out of that. They got famous, but this man got all the money.
So I’m glad I left. I went through some changes, after I did leave, I didn’t get no credit on that album.
RR: And on that album, my friend got shot in his eye, and they put that shit on the cover!
I’m not gonna be on the album cover with my friend’s eye hanging out. No matter what! I just ain’t that fucked up.
And if I done sat down with you rchecka, I done met your mother and your family, and this and that, how I hell am I gonna explain “Oh yeah, Bill got shot in his eye, but yeah we needed an album picture.” You know?
And that shit was crazy to me, and it’s crazy now.
People come up to me and say “Don’t you be regretting not being on the album cover?” and I go “No, not at all!” and I’m gonna stick with that man.
RC: Of course, man. Of course! I can’t imagine that kind of anguish that night that you were feeling and for this guy to be like “Yeah just get in the picture” it’s basically just greed.
RR: Yeah. I was freaking. I been in between 2 guns pulled on me. That night I’m like Yo this ain’t what I’m signed up for”
Fuck this. Shit I don’t need it. I’m from the real Hip Hop shit. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, Afrika Bambaataa, Cold Crush Brothers, I’m from the Old School. We don’t get down like this man.
RC: Right, but they never even put your credit anywhere on that album at all. It was kind of a white wash.
RR: Cuz they knew doing that right there would lead to some better things for me. But I took a downward spiral cuz every 5 minutes that record was being played.
And the way they spun it was like I left and all of the sudden they got a hit and I had nothing to do with it.
So everyone was thinking, “Hey, Ready Red leaves and the Geto Boys blew up!” “Man he ain’t do shit!”
RC: That wasn’t the worst of it either. Let’s talk about Scarface’s album… This was just after you left Rap-A-Lot Records, and they blacked out your face from that album cover.
RC: I gotta know… What was it like the day you picked up that album and looked at it?
What were you thinking when you saw they just kind of old school Photoshop erased you from the cover photo?
RR: I started laughing and I said “Look at this shit right here!”
RR: Yeah, they tried to erase me out of their whole history. But, I’m glad that the fans know the truth, and I’m glad the truth is finally out there. All that because my man was mad cuz I said “Fuck him.” Know what I’m saying?
RC: Yeah, that was just one more thing they tried to do to erase your history of everything you’ve given to the label.
RC: Well they aren’t doing so hot right now. I’ve read that recent article about Rap-A-Lot’s CEO James Prince. That kind of business reputation he had didn’t fade. Like you said, people still talk about that to this day. They were just a corrupt business.
RR: Right. Well you know there’s a verse in the bible that says “What’s done in the dark will come to light.” It might not be the next day or the next year, but eventually what you do will come to light.
So anyways, back then I started to believe that, that I was nothing, you know what I’m saying? So I got into the darkness one night. I ain’t never started to get another job, I was 26 years old, man.
I had to get myself together, R. Now, I’m 15 years clean and sober. And everything I lost has come back; my respect, my technique, and I look back and I owe it all to the Lord Jesus Christ. You know, for helping me clean myself up.
Then I met you at the oldschoolhiphop.com me and you known each other before any of this business came back. I think I went in there right around 2003, right after I lost my older sister to a car accident. She was killed in a car. Me and you have been friends ever since then.
RC: Yeah, that sounds about right.
RR: And you are definitely in my crates man!
RC: Aw thanks man!
RR: Dumpster Funk is definitely in my crates man!
RC: Hey man coming from you, that means a lot man, I appreciate that!
RR: Yeah, you good folks. You’ve known me before any of this ever came back, since 2009 was when I really started my comeback.
RC: So do you remember when you became an official member of the Zulu Nation?
RR: Right after 2006, I joined the Gateway Chapter, then I hooked up with the Zulu Brothers and sisters. And there’s all tribes in San Francisco. Back then I was blessed to meet Afrika Bambaataa and have my time with a one on one. So that was like a dream come true I was in service.
RC: No kidding! Hell yeah!
RC: Ok so let’s fast forward a little bit. Right around March 8, 2008, apparently you got into a terrible car accident with your truck. From what I remember you were driving up in the mountains and spotted some wolves? (Laughs) I can’t even make this shit up man!
RR: Here’s what happened. I hooked up with my childhood sweetheart and I was on my way back home. And at the 249 Highway marker in Nevada some Coyotes jumped in front of me I was able to avoid that pack, but at the 252 mile marker a bunch of them came out and I swerved and caught the soft shoulder, on the left hand side, and I went down the embankment and I flipped over 3 times.
Man, I broke 2 ribs, 2 fingers, collapsed lung, and contusions on my hip some other various parts that were hurting, and I remember bending down to pick up my phone but it was cracked. I remember picking It up and passing out.
I woke up on my side, and I heard some people talking, and red and blue lights flashing. I saw the flashlight go past me, and I heard one of the officers say “You think he’s dead?” “The other said, “the way his car looks he might be.”
But I put my hand up to let them know I wasn’t dead. And they agreed to come get my ass.
RR: (Laughing) Yeah, it’s funny now. You know they wrote me a ticket for failure to stay on the highway??
RC: That doesn’t really surprise me. So this is just one of the many times where you’ve seen some crazy shit and lived through to tell about it. And now we can laugh about it. But that was crazy, how long were you laid up in the hospital?
RR: About 2 weeks or so.
RC: Yeah, and you lost all your stuff in that truck rollover too, right? All your records and your turntables and stuff?
RR: So the turntables made it. My SP1200 got damaged, I was mad about that.
But you know what? In all honesty, I was just glad to be living.
On March 21st I was on my way back home, I took the same route, and I set my foot back home march 25, 2002 I stepped foot in California. Six years later, I’m back in Trenton New Jersey. Six years later, I’m a lot better, I have a whole new life now. March 25 is how I mark my sobriety time. So on March 25 2016, I’m clean and sober 15 years sober now.
RR: And as I look back on all that time, I lost my Grandfather, my sister, I lost my mother, my grandmother, and just recently my brother last year, my only brother. I’m not looking back, I’m just looking forward, and I have good memories, cuz I tried to do more every year than I did the last year.
So if you are going thru some things, and you think you can’t do it, just gimmie a call, look at me, I used to think there was no hope too, you know, but I’m glad that God had a plan for me. I been sticking with that plan and it’s been worth it.
RC: Yeah I hear you, I totally hear you.
RC: So let’s back up just a hair… Were you still injured from the wreck when you met DJ Q-Bert? Or am I wrong about when you met him?
RR: Q-Bert gave me my first 1200 in the Bay Area. He actually threw a party for me. This is 2002, my first year out there. Jasper Bradley told Q that I was in town, so Q called his DJ Friends, DJ Flare and Magic Mike, and a lot of other cats who have scratches named after them, and I went to the Octagon, and me and Q-Bert bonded instantly.
We became friends, we started talking and Q says “So what you up to?” “Well you know I’m out here for a fresh start, and my Grandfather just passed…” and before I left Q-Bert said, “I got something for you.” So he put an SL-1200 in my hand and he told me to “Get busy again”. Even though I never left them, I just didn’t have a pair, but I had 35 years of being a DJ at the time, but that really hit me. On the way home I just held it in my lap and started playing with it, getting back into it, feeling it like it was a beautiful woman.
RR: But, I’m now a Stanton DJ, so I don’t really use 1200s, I use the Stanton STR8-150 since I been a Stanton DJ for 5 years. So now when you see me, I play on the stuff that has my name attached to it now.
RC: Yeah, so how’d you hook up with Stanton then? That’s interesting too. Tell me how you got approached by Stanton.
RR: No, I approached Stanton. My 1200s died on me, so I needed a new pair, so I ordered a pair of Stanton’s online. And when I got them I was so impressed by them, I was like “Oh shit!” so I went to Stanton to tell them how much I enjoyed them, I saw a contact number, so I called them and left a voice mail. About a week later, I get a call from a guy who says “Hi, my name is Dan I am the president of Stanton, and would you like to endorser our Stanton products.”
So I said, “You know what? Before you even approached me, I approached you and told you how I enjoyed the product, so, yes I would love to become a Stanton DJ.”
See, I bought them blindly before any of that ever happened. That’s how much I believed in them.
RC: Hey, I feel you on that. Cuz I’ve had my STR8-100s for about 20 years now, and I use them all the time, and they are still just tanks!
RR: Damn right! I never thought that I would say in my lifetime that I could say that I found something better than the 1200s. 1200s are still good, they will always gonna be good, but once you get on the STR-150s and go back to the 1200, you’ll see how good things are with Stanton. I’m sorry, but I like power now.
You can take a record and put it on a Stanton joint, and it will start and stop right on the beat, super fast. I can backspin now on a Stanton and it spins right back up to speed right away so I’m straight now from now on.
RC: Yeah, it’s a totally different feel between the two brands. I think people get accustomed to “that feel”. It’s kind of like relearning how to spin if you switch back and forth between the brands, cuz then you have to compensate one way or the other for the different torques.
RR: I had to relearn how to DJ when I first tried to got my first Technics 1200s, cuz I was on Technic SLB 101s. They were belt drives, so you had to push them up while you was back spinning, to catch them up on time so they wouldn’t slow down. That was a bad habit that I brought over from my belt drive, to a direct drive. But with a 1200, you didn’t have to struggle like that. That struggle was gone, when I got the 1200s.
RC: Right on, let’s talk about a couple of your heroes right now. You look up to 2 very different people as your heroes, Bruce Lee and Grand Master Flash. Why do you look up to these two guys?
RR: Well, being a red headed freckle face black kid of the 70s, really light skinned, I was chubby, I picked on a lot rchecka. I was just meeting my father at 8 years old for the first time I remember, and he took me to go see the Chinese Connection in downtown Trenton. And I was just like “Wow!”
RR: See Bruce Lee is kind of quiet. If you check out his roles in his films. Bruce Lee was kind of quiet, but he whooped your ass.
So shortly thereafter, my father left again, so my Grandfather took me to Karate School, cuz I was showing some interest in that. I started studying Shotokan Karate, so soon, all the punishment that was inflected on me, I could stop that, cuz I learned how to defend myself, and only defend myself and others who I saw injustices being done to.
So it was Bruce Lee that gave me my confidence by not being afraid to fight. I don’t care who you are, if you come my way and you disrespect me, put your hands on me and try to hurt me, I will get with you, but other than that, I tried to use the art of fighting without fighting. So Bruce Lee has been an impact on me since I was 8 years old. I’ll be 50 this year.
RR: I actually used some of his teachings to get my life together. See if we go back, Lee himself had some issues. He wasn’t a totally put together human being like most people think. But if you really research him you’ll see that he was a proud individual like all of us. He was just a hell of a fighter, but behind the arena he had weaknesses.
See like my arena was music behind the turntables, oh I’m super bad, but you take me out of that arena I may not be the most put together person, Know what I mean? Cuz I’m out of my element. So I had to learn how to be secure in front of the wheels and off the set. See Bruce Lee taught me about that.
RR: Now Grandmaster Flash, is the Pinnacle of DJs. See back in my day he was the litmus test of being a DJ. And I share a special bond with my Grandfather who… my Grandmother reported that my Grandfather, whose name is George, “he stays in his room all day and all night making strange noises and I don’t know what he’s doing up there.”
So my grandfather comes upstairs and says “What’s going on up in here?” So I show him, and he has a story from Jersey, and he tells me to come up, and he presents me a ticket for him and a ticket for me to go see Shannon, singer of “Let the Music Play” and Grand Master Flash and the Furious 5.
So we sit there in the audience, we get thru Shannon, and out comes Grand Master Flash and he starts cutting up Good Times.
So my Grandfather sees that and says “Oh, is that what you are trying to do?” I said “Yeah!” So I explained to him Kid Creole, Scorpio, Melle Mel, Rahim, the Late Great Cowboy, and I said “Yeah, those are great MCs, but Grand Master Flash, the guy standing behind, he just DJs!”
He said “Really?” And he started to get really fascinated by it. “And for all that he was just spinning records?” I said “Yeah!”
So after the show, we’re driving home, he started asking more questions. When he started asking questions, it started getting interesting. He said “What would you need to uh, you know, start doing that type of stuff?” “Cuz the offer is this… If you graduate from High School, I’ll get you a car.” But I was soon to graduate High School but I didn’t want a car, I wanted some useful equipment, rchecka.
So I got a pair of 101 Technics belt drive turntables, a Gemini mixer, some records, tape decks, and some other stuff. He says “You know what? You’re the first guy I ever met who didn’t want a car!” But it would soon pay off. So that’s what I did man.
RR: In New Jersey and some greater cities they had what they called junk days where people throw out their junk, so I got pretty good at tinkering and putting stuff together, so I had some changers, you know changers is one of the best DJ turntable ever, you just gotta cut off the long spindle but once they get going, they get going. They may scratch up your records on the other side, but those things was tough!
So I had 2 of them, I was good at cutting with knobs and stuff.
So um, the adventures of Grand Master Flash, I would play follow the leader. It goes on “You say! You say!” and before Flash would let the last “You Say!” go I would try to play like him. “You Say one for the treble, 2 for the time, come on yall let’s rock that —-“ I would grab the record and try to get the timing that he had. Cuz that record is like a teacher.
RC: “Yeah! You’re right!”
RR: And I became fascinated with GMF, Joseph Sadler, he’s always been one of my heroes and always will be! Just like Grandwizard Theodore, DJ Red Alert, there’s so many…like DJ Tony Tone, Charlie Chase… I hate to start naming all my heroes, cuz I’ll forget their names. I love anybody from the true school foundation, know what I’m saying? I love them because I am them, in a lot of ways man.
RC: Yeah, you are man, and I watched you recreate Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel, I mean you did it. I saw it on YouTube. That was kind of like a rite of passage for you to complete that wasn’t it.
RR: Well you know what, I did it on Serato on that Youtube vid. I wish they would have shown me when I was young and I would do it on the wheels. I used to have a cat who was passing off the records to me. My cousin, B, My cousin Brian Lovett. Passed off the records. Anyways, I did it on Serato cuz you always hear “oh that was a studio produced joint.” No it was not studio produced that was nothing but turntables man.
When they recorded it, to make the levels using limiters all go level across the boards you really had to know what you was doing back in the day. But Flash was with that man. Flash was the king.
As he says “I don’t care who’s better, Flash is forever.” “I’m the first one to do that”
RC: Yeah I hear that!
RR: See back then, Hip Hop was the up lifter. It was invented by folks who saw a positivity for what Hip hop would come to. Cuz you know, it was rough, and it comes from the gangs.
Bronx groups like Savage Skulls, Black Spades..They know we gonna get down on the streets with our Ghetto brothers. And it had this rough status, but it became peace, unity, love and having fun.
That’s how the Zulu nation was born. Along with the Godfather Kool Herc, who had a birthday party by the request of his sister Shelby.
So DJ Kool Herc came to play his block party and that started it all. So that’s what I wanna focus on, that’s the only reason I got into this in the first place.
I’m glad I had these heroes that I could bring to my mother and grandparents and say this is what I wanna do. But she wouldn’t hear that.
So I’d sit and listen to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five album with her or Kurtis Blow or the Fat Boys.
Cuz back then you could listen to it with your family. But man, now? Now, I’ll be like “DAMN! What the hell are they saying? I find it kind of shocking.
I don’t believe in censorship for the artist, but I believe the artist should be responsible for what comes out of he or she’s mouth because you have the gift of life or death in your speech.
One thing that I remember when Al Sharpton when he was doing James Brown’s Eulogy, he said “James Brown told me on his death bed to tell Michael Jackson and Prince to raise the music back up.”
Raise the music back up meaning that your parents, your grandparents, your kids, can all hear the positivity in the message man. So that’s my mission, is to raise it up. And I’m gonna raise it up man because we need it.
RC: Yeah, we do! We need to hear that. Actually, yeah, that’s really what I want to talk about… We wanna hear about that project you got going on with Johnny C and Jukebox!
RR: I got back with Johnny C and Jukebox of the Original Ghetto Boys and we are now the Old Young’nZ and we’re working on an album now. We’ve just been putting together stuff and ideas, we are working on getting the sound that is ours.
That’s Johnny C and my sound, we had that sound in Trenton Jersey way back in the late 70s early 80s. And we just coming up with good grooves and stuff.
We’re both 50 years old now, so we’re coming with Old Young’nZ a point of view, we’re not trying to compete with these youngsters. We have to come up with some solutions to some of these problems.
We’re working on what they call peace, unity, love, and having fun which was an element of the DJ and MC that I don’t hear on records any more.
With some of the new stuff, and I still spin current stuff, cuz I get booked for a lot of parties, but I don’t hear party records any more. I hear dreary, death and destruction that doesn’t really give you a lot to live for nowadays.
We’re putting this together out of love, and we won’t give it away, but we’ll put it out there.
So it might be a minute, we was trying for the Spring, but you know, things happen, so you know were’ working and trying to get at least 2 singles dropped, just to let the people know, hey, we’re doing our thing.
I’m also being constantly booked to do DJ joints or shows, so my time is you know, spread thin.
RC: Well, you want it to be right, and you want it to be good… So you are taking your time getting it right. You got kind of a timeline on this? Are you a perfectionist?
RR: I would say yes, I am. But back to the point of when it’ll get released. it’s to the point where as a DJ, I could have put that away, or I could put this away. Sometimes you gotta know when to stop and be like, take away, you know what I’m saying. You got to know when to stop.
Sometimes you think, I could have used a better kick, or a I could have used a better snare. When I listen to music I hear the high hat, I hear the kicks, and snare. And I know when that kick and snare is gold. There’s only a handful of artists that I can listen to and be like, “Ok, yeah, they jamming!” But I never followed what a lot of other folks did, I always just did what I felt.
When I started making records, A guy named Steve Founier who was a radio DJ, said to me, “You know what you need Red? When you start doing the process of recording, go get the hottest 2 records, and mix yours to the levels that these hot records are.” Cuz at first when come to the club, and put our wax on, the levels would be so low, and this was one of the rookie mistakes that a lot of artists make. Their levels are nowhere near the levels of the artists who were making it were. You gotta get your kicks up and snares up to the level of these hot records. You know, I’m giving you game now producers! Go get the hottest 2 joints and listen to where everything is on there. And set your mix accordingly so that way when you get to the club and you want the DJ to play it, he ain’t got to boost it all up. See it’s already there.
I’m sure you know as a DJ know how some records are really low and some records are really high where they sound good, and you don’t need to do anything to the high joint.
RC: Absolutely. Mixing highs and lows can be a pain.
RC: And speaking of DJs, let’s talk about the Hip Hop DJ in 2016… In the past you talked about the changes of the DJ from year to year. Nowadays we got controllers instead of decks, we got very advanced CD-Js that have been around forever… What do you think is the cut-off point where someone is no longer a DJ based upon what they use or how they use it?
RR: Man, you know what? DJ Red Alert said it best…. rchecka, do you still have a rotary phone?
RC: No, like a lot of people I don’t even have a land line.
RR: There you go. I stick with the times too.. My boy DJ Wiz told me when I was living in San Jose back in 2006-07 told me “Red, man, I’m using this Serato” and I asked him “What’s that man?” he said this device is just like spinning wax. So I plugged it in, and I stayed on that damn thing for 10 hours, trying to get my heat on. I was like “wow this is fascinating man! You can leave the records on!” See cuz as a Hip Hop DJ you always taking the records off. Sometimes you’d catch me taking the control record off trying to put on the next record. But yeah, you gotta stick with the times man. So I stick with the times, and I try to employ the technology to how I wanna attack.
See Grandmaster Flash said “If you was wack in the analog era, you gonna be wack in the digital era.”
Then again now there are these things on some of these controllers called sync, which is a sin! To me, that’s like biting a rap.
Now, do I have virtual DJ? You know what? Yeah, I played with it when I was sitting here in my bedroom, cuz I think it’s kind of cool just to play around with it. But I was just playing around cuz I’m always gonna be a wheels of steel guy. Cuz that’s just me.
I remember a friend of mine named Swell, say “Yo Red. I’m gonna get to the park in like an hour man. And I already packed up my 12”s, so I hooked up with his stuff, and I kept reaching for the tone arm on his CD-Js.
That whole repetition over the years of grabbing that tone arm made that a reflex. I’m not knocking people who use CD-Js or controllers, but to me turntables are a lot easier, you don’t have to worry about anything as long as the record is spinning in the groove. It keeps me on my toes, it makes me aware of the music, cuz otherwise I get bored quick, and I’ll go to sleep.
RC: So when you are working on your newer productions, are you using any newer tools or are you sticking to the classic gear?
RR: Well I use my MV-8000, which is a beast. A lot of people sleep on it, cuz it’s not the instant gratification they are used to. I tell people, you gotta get into your manual for this man. But I been using this for about the past 6 years I use Logic, I use Fruity Loops, I use anything that will work for me. I use modules that I sample into the machine or I’ll play. I do whatever it takes man. I use both worlds, analog and digital man. I really like using analog over digital cuz it amps it up and it really has that dirty sound. But for the basis of my work, I like to beat physically on the drum machine. I don’t like beating on the keyboard. Cuz it’s like (singing) “Flash is on the Beat Box!” it ain’t “Flash is on the Keyboard!” See the beatbox is FOR Hip Hop man.
RC: No doubt, and it’s like riding a bike, you know how to get around once you do it, and you know how everything’s gonna turn out.
RC: Alright, well let’s wrap things up, cuz I have one more question for you and it’s about your future. Let’s assume you get this project out and you are happy with the results. What’s next? What do you have plans for further down the road?
RR: Keep on doing it. Find some younger blood out here, just expand it, and it keep it going, cuz it’s not gonna stop. If I was to get back to where I was, that’s a beautiful thing. I have gotten to the point now where I could do it for a living again, or I could do it for a hobby. You know I have to have a balance.
I’ll be 50 years old. So I love it, and I’m always gonna do it, I don’t know on what platform, professional or being a veteran DJ again, but you know what?
At the end of the day Collins Adam Leysath is happy that DJ Ready Red can try every now and then and do something I love, you know what I’m saying?
I’ll be happy in my life as long as I stay true to that.
Broadcasting Live from Los Angeles
Every 2nd & 4th Tuesdays Of The Month
On The Beat Junkie Radio channel
Exclusively on Dash Radio.
Download the Dash Radio App for free or listen to us on the web: www.dashradio.com.
Soundcheck Ep. 36 (8/23/16) with special guest: 9th Wonder
The Beat Junkies are proud to present 2 NEW Products for all the Scratch DJ’s out there: The Official Beat Junkies “Scratchers Delight” Looper App and Dj Babu‘s “Mini Duck Breaks” Skipless 45 Vinyl!!
The Scratchers Delight Loopers our first official app for the iOS IPhone/IPad that Scratchers can use. 36 Looped Beats by D-Styles, Dj Babu, Dj Melo-D, J.Rocc & Rhettmatic, with -50/+50 Pitch Control. You can download the app for $1.99 at ITunes.
Our 2nd Skipless 45 is the one & only Dj Babu‘s Mini Duck Breaks Skipless 7″ Vinyl just dropped today! All the classic locked scratch loops from the legendary Super Duck Breaks series that you come to love. Only for a limited time; get them at www.beatjunkies.com right NOW!
Tonight (July 25th) is another installment of Motown On Mondays LA on Sunday at The Short Stop in Los Angeles with residents Dj Expo, Dj Jedi, & Monalisa + special guests: our very own Shortkut. If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your week!
SATURDAY (JULY 23RD) is the 3rd Annual Low End Theory Festival at The Shrine in Los Angeles. This year’s line up is an All-Star Line Up: Ghostface & Raekwon, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Mixed By Ali, Daedelus, Ras G, Jon Wayne & many more. Plus Low End Theory’s residents: Daddy Kev, Gaslamp Killer, Dj Nobody, & our very own D-Styles. For more info & tickets: www.axs.com
Our very own Shortkut has been selected to be the newest artist for Serato!
Peep out his new DJ Showcase using the new Tropkillaz track “One Time” that he helped produced!
“Seminal turntablist, selector and longstanding central force of DJing ‑ Shortkut has long-surpassed icon status. And so should the only member of not one, but three of the world’s eminent DJ crews: The Invisibl Skratch Picklz, the World Famous Beat Junkies and Triple Threat DJs.
Though his technical skills are legendary, what sets Shortkut apart is his versatility. Growing up in 1980s Bay Area, Shortkut (born Jon Cruz) drew from a rich array of musical influences, in particular the mobile soundsystem culture that was coming to a head at that time in the States. His sets are never dull or predictable, bringing in everything from hip hop, funk and soul to deep house, reggae and dancehall. He keeps both the turntable fanatics happy and the dancefloors heaving. And, as Shortkut understands better than anyone, that’s why the DJ’s there.”
Peep his Serato interview here: https://www.facebook.com/Serato/posts/10153715953333016
This last night’s episode (July 10th) of “Adventures In Stereo” radio show. The Funky President J.Rocc along with his “Dynamic Duo” partner Rhettmatic did a special episode in honor of what’s going on this past week…we’re living in crazy times right now. Soundtrack For The Streets! Rest In Peace: Alton Steerling, Anthony Nunez, Dylan Noble, Pedro Villanueve, Philando Castile, & the officers in Dallas, TX. J.Rocc’s radio show is every Sunday from 10p-12a on 90.7FM KPFK in Los Angeles or listen on the internet: www.kpfk.org.
Tonight (July 8th) the Funky President J.Rocc will be at The Nectar Lounge in Downtown Seattle with residents Dj Blueyed Soul & Dj Swervewon. For more info & tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/j-rocc-with-blueyed-soul-dj-swervewon-tickets-25707263116?aff=ebapi
Come start off your weekend at The Nectar Lounge!
This 4th of July Weekend is Papi’s Pool Party & BBQ at The Line Hotel in Koreatown (Los Angeles). The Beat Junkies along with some special guests will be providing some tunes during the sunshine while you get your tan & swim on. It’s FREE on Sunday (July 3) from 4-7pm & Monday (July 4) from 12-7pm….Come vibe with the Junkies as they will dropping some dope tunes for you to enjoy! Shoutouts to our boy Chef Roy Choi!
Tonight (June 30) is a special The 45 Sessions event. Their special guest, the legendary Dj Prince Paul (Stetsasonic/De La Soul/Gravediggaz/Handsome Boy Modeling School/Dirty Disco Squares) along with residents Dj Platurn, Mr. E, & our very own Shortkut. Hosted by Fran Boogie. All happening at The Uptown in Oakland. For more info & tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/45-sessions-presents-prince-paul-tickets-26000321662 This is event that you do not want to miss!
Tonight (June 24th) is a presentation of Kut Up Fridays at The Rock Steady in Downtown Oakland with our very own Shortkut as the resident DJ along with Le’ Swindle plus special guest Dj Umami. Come start off your weekend for a FREE night of dope music & fresh vibes!
It is an honor to have the legendary LA Hip Hop Radio personality, Mike Nardone return to the airwaves on Beat Junkie Radio. He returns to his roots by debuting his new show called “Essentials” on Beat Junkie Radio. If you’re not familiar with Mike Nardone, he was the first person to start up a college Hip Hop radio show in 1987 at KXLU (Loyola Marymount) in Los Angeles called “We Came From Beyond” as well as having a show on the defunct 92.3 The Beat called “Da Joint” with King Emz. Mike is the West Coast counterpart of the legendary NY Radio Duo, Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Garcia. This particular audio is from Mike’s 2nd show (June 11th); Our very own Babu & Rhettmatic are Mike’s assistants.
Essentials with Mike Nardone will be airing every 2nd Saturdays of each month from 4:30-6:30pm on Beat Junkie Radio, exclusively on Dash. You can listen to Mike’s show by either downloading the FREE Dash Radio App from ITunes or Google Play or listen on the web: www.dashradio.com.
Saturday (June 18th) is a double duty for the Junkies….the 2ND event that’s going down is the Container Yard 2 Year Anniversary, of course, at the Container Yard in Downtown LA. Reppin the crew will be Dj Babu, D-Styles, & Melo-D plus opening set by Dj Bella Fiasco. It’s a 21 & over event from 6-11pm. Enjoy some good Food, Arts, & Music at The Container Yard. For more info & tickets, go to www.thecontaineryard.com/shop/tcy2
Saturday (June 18th) is a double duty for the Junkies….the first event that’s going down is the Rhythm & Rhyme Fest at the Belasco Theater in Downtown LA. Our very own Rhettmatic will be joining Earl Sweatshirt, Z-Trip, Brother Ali, Gaslamp Killer, & many more. It’s an 18 & over event, doors open at 9pm. For more info & tickets, go to www.thebelasco.com
Friday (June 17th), our very own Dj Babu will be spinning a set at the Walt Disney Concert Hall special event called “Sleepless”. He will be joining Dj Expo, Exile, Monalisa, Dj Jedi, Inka 1 & many more. It’s happening from 11pm to 3am. Presale tickets are available on the day off starting at 10pm. Don’t miss this nocturnal dance party event!
New music by West Coast Underground Hip Hop legends, Third Sight (Roughneck Jihad, Dj Du-Funk, & our very own D-Styles). They have a new album coming out called “Third Sight IV” and the lead single is called “Trife 1”. With a menacing beat by D-Styles & Sharp Lyrics by Jihad, this is for fans of some of that classic beats & rhymes with an dark edge!
Stones Throw is starting a weekly pool party at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles, Saturdays, 1-6 PM through summer 2016. There’s different DJ’s every week. Come by and find out who (a Beat Junkie is scheduled to be at one of these).
June 4, 11, 25 / July 2, 9, 23, 30 / August 6, 20
This event is free for hotel guests no RSVP necessary. RSVP is required for non-hotel guests. Guests with “Attending” RSVP are guaranteed entry until 2pm. At 2pm guests with “Wait Listed” RSVP are allowed entry that is subject to capacity.
The Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90010
Tonight (June 11th), join Jace One, our very own Icy Ice, & Dj Scetch at Downtown Saturday Night. They’ll be playing Hip Hop, Reggae, & Dancehall all night long. All happening at the Justice Urban Tavern in Downtown Los Angeles. Make sure to check it out!
We continue with another special edition of our Turntablist DJ series “Watch The Sound”, featuring Bay Area’s KODACVISUALZ representing Born Cinnaz & AsthmaFunk. For more info on KODAC VISUALZ, follow him on IG and Twitter at @kodacvisualz. For all things Beat Junkies, visit us at www.beatjunkies.com
Tonight (June 10th) Stones Throw Records is continuing their 20th Anniversary Celebration Tour with Peanut Butter Wolf, J.Rocc, SamIyam, & Mndsgn. All happening at The Brooklyn Bowl in New York. Definitely don’t sleep on this!
- Spark Master Tape – Syrup Splash
2. SAMIYAM – Sam Baker
3. The Dynospectrum – You Can Lose Your Mind
4. Supastition – 7 Years Of Bad Luck
5. Jakki Da Motamouth – God vs Satan
Tonight (June 3rd) & tomorrow (June 4th), the legendary Invisibl Skratch Piklz will be peforming at the X-Games in Austin, Texas. Q-Bert, Mixmaster Mike, D-Styles, & Shortkut will be at the Intel Tent inside the Circuit Of The Americas. Don’t miss this incredible event. For more info: www.thudrumble.com
“TBH” is the third single off the collaborative project “A Whole New Cook” by CookBook of L.A. Symphony & Evidence of Dilated Peoples. With Cook is on the vocals and Ev on the production, the project features DJ Babu of Dilated Peoples/Beat Junkies. Watch this dope video directed by Original Knockoff.
“A Whole New Cook” dropped on March 4 and has been on the CMJ Hip Hop chart for 10 weeks, 4 of which it spent at #1. It also went to #1 on Canada’s earshot chart.
This is CookBook’s 3rd release in his CBEP series, where he teams up with 1 producer for each project. 1st one produced by DJ Rhettmatic (Beat Junkies) the 2nd by Blu (Blu & Exile) & of course this 3rd one produced by Evidence.